HOMEBREW Digest #5396 Thu 14 August 2008

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  Re: HERMS: Liquid Return ("Craig S. Cottingham")
  RE: HERMS: Liquid Return ("David Houseman")
  Re: Dumb HERMS Question (Pete Limosani)
  Denaturing Enzymes with HERMS (Rick) Theiner" <rickdude@tds.net>
  Moving on up... ("Pat Babcock")
  Corny O-rings ("LANCE HARBISON")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 22:57:58 -0500 From: "Craig S. Cottingham" <craig.cottingham at gmail.com> Subject: Re: HERMS: Liquid Return On Aug 13, 2008, at 09:03, "Dave Larsen" <hunahpu at gmail.com> wrote: > I've been doing some research about how to return the liquid from the > HLT to the mash tun. Some people use a manifold. Some people use > something similar to a sparge arm. Whatever you use, it seems to me > that you do not want to splash the liquid back into the mash tun, or > risk HSA. The way that I liked the best was simply to lay the return > hose on top of the mash. I guess there is the risk of channeling > that way. What way is best? How do you get the liquid back to the > mash tun without HSA or channeling? I remember reading something three or four years ago about a RIMS that recirculated backwards. The heated wort was pumped in the *bottom* of the mash tun, and picked up by a manifold resting on *top* of the grain bed. There's no risk of setting the grain bed, but you do have to maintain a layer of liquid above it to keep the pump from sucking air. I've never tried this myself, but I figure if and when I get around to building a RIMS/HERMS, I'll give it a try. - -- Craig S. Cottingham BJCP Certified judge from Olathe, KS ([621, 251.1deg] Apparent Rennerian) craig.cottingham at gmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 07:27:44 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: RE: HERMS: Liquid Return Dave, At K-Mart, for ~$5 I bought a 12" perforated pizza pan. This can lay on top of the mash or be suspended slightly above it. Just run the return to the top of the pizza pan and the wort (or sparge water) drips through the holes early evenly, but gently. No channeling. Easy enough to create a jig to hold that at the water level and to hold the return hose in place. Works like a champ. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 08:22:31 -0400 From: Pete Limosani <peteLimo at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Dumb HERMS Question Dave, You have received some excellent technical answers on what a PID is and what it does. If I may, I'd like to give you a practical answer from a home brewer who uses one with his HERMS. The primary benefit that I get from my PID controller is that it WILL NOT overshoot the set temperature. The reason I built my HERMS is that I wanted very precise temperature control during mashing and sparging. Two posts back you expressed concern about denaturing enzymes. I simply wanted to make sure that I could confidently reproduce a recipe. The same grain bill mashed at 151* will not produce the same beer when mashed at 153*. Let's say I want to mash at a steady 153*. Let's also say that after I mash in, the mash temp is about 150*. Common wisdom holds that one should add water hotter than 153* to bring the temperature up to 153* (the set point in PID parlance). When one does that at the beginning of the mash, it's no big deal if its done to steady the temperature and then the mash is left alone in a well insulated tun. However, if your HERMS is constantly dropping 154* (or higher) wort on top of the mash in order to keep the set point at 153*, then you really don't have a 153* mash, do you? What you have then is a stratified mash. That is why I did not design my system using the HLT as a heat exchanger--I wasn't worried about denaturing enzymes--I just didn't want the wort temperature to ever exceed the set point. I'm not try to spark a HERMS design debate here, but IMHO an HLT with 6 gallons (or more) of water in it cannot react as fast as a heat exchanger with one gallon of water in it--given the power and heat sources available to most home brewers. My HERMS has an independent heat exchanger. It is a 1.25 gallon paint can with 30' of 3/8"copper pipe coiled inside. It is filled with water and has a water heater element in it. The PID controller turns the water heater element on and off. The thermocouple (wort thermostat) that the PID controller relies on for temperature input is positioned on the output side of the heat exchanger. If I set the set point at 153* the PID controller makes sure the wort leaving the heat exchanger is 153*. In the example above (a mash in temp of 150* and a set point of 153*), my PID controller will keep returning 153* wort to the top of the mash, but because the whole quantity of wort in the mash circulates every few minutes, it only takes a few minutes for the whole mash to reach 153* and stay there for the duration. The thermometer on my mash turn is just a few inches from the bottom, so I see the temperature stratification disappear in a few minutes. And I never stir the mash! For mash out, I change the set point to 170* and, in about 15 minutes, the whole mash is at 170*. It gets to 167* pretty quickly, then takes about as long to reach 170* from 167* as is did to get from 153* to 167* because the PID controller slows down the heat application so that it does not over shoot 170*. That is the magic of the Process/Integral/Derivative formulas. (It took a few minutes to go from 150* to 153* in the last example, but it takes ~7 minutes to get from 167* to 170* (the same 3* difference) because prior to going from 167* to 170*, the PID controller added a lot of heat to get from 153* to 167*, so it really slows it down so it won't over shoot the set point of 170*). A Ranco is just not going to do that for you. For sparging, I set my HLT to about 168* (I do not have exact temp control on my mash tun), then I run the sparge liquor through the heat exchanger and the PID controller ensures the sparge liquor is exactly 170* when it hits the top of the mash. The PID controller ensures that I will never sparge with liquor hotter than 170*. Drawbacks to my PID controller? My PID controller is programmable. I can program it for a step mash. I can tell it to hold 128* for 15 minutes, then hold 142* for 15 minutes, then hold 161* for 15 minutes, then hold 170* for 10 minutes. The problem I run into is that there is a delay between when the wort exiting the heat exchanger reaches the set point and when the mash tun reaches the set point. What the PID controller really needs is a secondary temperature monitor so that I can tell it, "When the heat exchanger output temperature reaches 142* hold it there, but don't start counting the 15 minute hold until the secondary input temperature (from the mash tun) reaches 142*. So, when I do step mashes, I have to manually set the set point, then manually time the rest when the mast tun has fully reached the rest temperature. I love my HERMS and feel disempowered when I brew with others who don't have one. Most importantly, in the three years that I've used it, I've brewed better beer and have been able to very closely reproduce the recipes that really shine. My PID controller is a Fuji PXR3. It powers a solid state relay (the PID controller will not directly power a heating element), and uses a thermocouple for temperature monitoring. If anyone has any questions about my setup, I'd be happy to discuss. I'd like to finish by crediting Dennis Collins and his HERMIT for inspiring my venture into HERMS territory. His site has a lot of good info for anyone thinking of building a HERMS. http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/System.html /Pete Limosani/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 10:41:21 -0500 From: "Eric (Rick) Theiner" <rickdude at tds.net> Subject: Denaturing Enzymes with HERMS I am not sure if this was answered or not-- I'm pretty behind in my email at the moment. But here's my $0.02: It takes time to denature enzymes in addition to temperature. Of course, the higher the temp, the less time that it takes, but during that time, you also have activity. Those of you who know me also know that I make cleaners and surfactants and I have an interesting story regarding denaturing enzymes-- A company I worked with some time ago developed a detergent that incorporated oxygen bleach and enzymes. (This is unusual because oxygen bleach will destroy enzymes, but we had worked with Novo to jointly develop a system that would tolerate these conditions.) This detergent is sold for use in "shirt laundries," which are the water-laundry side of drycleaners (you know that your dress shirts don't really get drycleaned, right?) The caveat was that the temperature of the wash bath should not exceed 140 F to prevent the enzymes from being denatured. I don't know exactly how it happened, but someone started using this detergent in 160 F wash baths and the results were fantastic. We reasoned that the benefit was only due to the bleach and surfactant, but ran it by Novo just to check it. They tested it on their end and found that it took a full 12 minutes to denature the enzymes, and in the meantime they were working fiendishly because of the added kinetic energy provided by the temp. The moral here is that in the few seconds that the enzymes are at an elevated temp, there is little damage and a bit of benefit. Sorry for the long windedness... Rick Theiner Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 12:46:26 -0400 (EDT) From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Moving on up... Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... A solution to the hosting issue has presented itself. This solution will improve our downline access speed (what you see) by about 533%, keep the servers local, and reduce our connectivity costs enough that, even with the termination fee for the remainder of the Covad contract, we still save $140 over what would have been the remainder of that term! Woo-hoo! By doing this, we can maintain the club sites and the preserve, though, unfortunately, the commercial server may need to go as I believe it may violate their terms of service. More on that later. The transition to the new service will take place near the end of this month. There are several dns and domain related records which will have to change and propagate through the internet, so please bear with. I will do my best to pop a note through the Digest just prior to making the transition. Hopefully, this one will go much more smoothly than did the last... - -- See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan Chief of HBD Janitorial Services http://hbd.org pbabcock at hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 20:14:49 -0500 From: "LANCE HARBISON" <harbison65 at verizon.net> Subject: Corny O-rings I have a couple of old Pin Lock kegs that were leaking due to the gas side poppit not springing back. I first doubled up on the o-ring which seemed to help. I then got the idea to change all of the o-rings in both my pin lock and ball lock kegs. Comparing sizes the pin lock used #011 (1/16" thick, 5/16" X 7/16") and the ball lock used #109 (3/32" thick, 5/16" X 1/2") o-rings. When I looked at the difference of the two I realized the 109's would also fit the pin lock fittings, so I replaced the 011's with the 109's. I can not imagine why this would not work, but if anyone has experience otherwise I'd like to know it before I place the kegs back in service. Lance Harbison Pittsburgh Return to table of contents
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